Clubby Continentals

HSBC, Lehman Brothers, Natixis, RBS and SG have been mandated to provide a debt package to support a €1.6bn takeover bid for Converteam by LBO France, which is in exclusive talks to buy a stake in the business.

Debt is likely to be in the region of €1bn. Converteam is a French engineering group currently owned by Barclays Private Equity, which will retain a stake in the business.

Bookrunners Lehman Brothers, JPMorgan and mandated lead arrangers Deutsche Bank, HVB, RBS and UBS are set to launch a senior syndication phase to subunderwriters of the €1.25bn package for Freenet. The debt supports Freenet‘s agreed deal to buy rival Debitel Group, mainly by refinancing Debitel’s existing debt of about €1.135bn.

Bookrunner and mandated lead arranger Rabobank has launched syndication of the £220m senior debt package backing Bridgepoints buyout of sandwich chain Pret A Manger. HSBC joined as mandated lead arranger ahead of syndication. The total financing structure includes senior and mezzanine loans.

Senior facilities include a £40m seven year term loan A paying 275bp, a £50m eight-year term loan B bullet paying 325bp, a £50m nine-year bullet paying 375bp. In addition, a £15m seven-year revolver pays 275bp and £30m seven-year amortising capex facility pays 275bp.

A £35m 10-year mezzanine bullet paying 450bp cash and 550bp PIK was placed with institutional investors ahead of syndication. Leverage is 3.6x senior and 4.6x total.

Ares Life Sciences and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity have mandated ING, UniCredit and Bank of Ireland to arrange the debt backing its secondary buyout of Euromedic, a provider of dialysis and diagnostic services, from Warburg Pincus.

Debt totals €550m made up of both senior and mezzanine facilities. Leverage is around 4x senior and 6x total. The auction attracted a wide range of bidders, though sources said ING and UniCredit were already close to the deal and were always likely to be on the winning mandate.